Klein Constantia MCC Brut 2013

Klein Constantia is perfectly situated for the production of wine grapes, red and white. An east facing slope for soft morning sunlight, cooling breezes tumbling gently down the slope from the over-the-mountain cool Benguela current ameliorating the summer heat, as indeed do those from False Bay coming up the slope.  Cooler nights mean longer hang time on the vine before harvesting, more time to ripen slowly and add fabulous flavours.

Matt Day leading a tasting of his wines

Matt Day, the Estate’s Winemaker, uses Chardonnay grapes from a single block situated on the lower slopes of Klein Constantia for the Klein Constantia MCC Brut 2013.  The grapes, picked in the early stages of the ideal ripeness window when the acidity is high and the sugar is low, are whole bunch pressed and only the free run juice is used. Once the base wine is made, it spends 9 months aging in 500 litre French oak barrels. The wine is then blended and bottled in the traditional Champagne shaped bottle with a shot of sugar and a special yeast.  A crown cork is applied and the wine is laid down for 20 months for the second fermentation, during which time the CO2 formed is forced back into the wine to create the tiny bubbles which in the industry is referred to as the mousse. Once disgorged, a dosage is applied, then the cork closure and the wire muzzle.

Chardonnay ripening on the vine

It looks like
Elegantly labelled, packed in a beautiful box, in a traditional Champagne shaped bottle. In the glass it is a pale golden straw in colour with thousands of the tiniest bubbles rushing to the surface to form a crown around the rim of the flute.

It smells like
Wet river stones, tropical limes and ripe pears.

It tastes like
The fizz from entry excites, as do the green fruit flavours, fresh baked brioche, all before a long fresh aftertaste.

My Smoked Salmon or Trout Hearts

It’s good with
Perfection its own.  Excellent with oysters, smoked fish or a cheese biscuit.  My Smoked Salmon or Trout Hearts filled with savoury cottage cheese are a lovely first course.  So easy to make.

Smoked Salmon Hearts

You’ll need
1 pack Smoked Salmon or Smoked Trout Strips 200g
1 tub Caramelised Onion Dip or a Cream Cheese filling of your choice or of your own making
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs chopped parsley
2 Tbs chopped dill
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

Melba Toast to serve.

What you’ll do
Line 4 heart shaped moulds or Muffin tins with cling wrap.  Separate the strips of the fish. Line the mould with strips of the fish leaving sufficient fish over the edges to be able to cover the bottom of the mould when you fold it over.  Add the finely grated lemon rind and the juice of the lemon to the onion dip with the parsley and dill and mix well.  Add in any remaining fish chopped finely.   Season with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper.  Fill into the moulds and then cover over with the overlapping fish.   Wrap in the cling wrap and chill well.  To serve unmould onto a plate, garnish with a sprig of herbs and Melba Toast.

Serves 4

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